The Lyrics People Sing Wrong

StewieStewie Stewie Star
edited February 2009 in Less Rokk More Talk
"We all love to sing along with our favorite songs. We sing in the car, in the shower, and at the karaoke bar. The problem is that half the time we don't know what we're singing. We're making up lyrics as we go along and hoping no one will notice. We presume that our secret is safely buried under the pumping bass coming through the speakers. Or else we're certain that NO ONE really knows the lyrics, so it's cool that we're winging it.

Wrong. Everyone knows. They may not know the exact words, but they know it's definitely not what you're singing. In fact, there's a word for this phenomenon. It's called "mondegreen," and it means "the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase, typically a standardized phrase, such as a line in a poem or a lyric in a song." (There's a great website called kissthisguy.com that's named after the frequently misheard Hendrix song listed below and is dedicated to the cataloging of mondegreens.)

So now that you've been outed, here are a few favorite misunderstood lyrics. Who was it that said, "No one pays attention to the lyrics?" Well, here's the proof."

TOM PETTY: "American Girl"


What people sing: "That Wonderbra that she was gonna keep"
The actual lyric: "She had one little promise she was gonna keep"


This is the second single from Petty's 1977 debut album. Frankly, Tom mumbles so much when he sings that one could be forgiven for misunderstanding him.

QUEEN: "Bohemian Rhapsody"

What people sing: "Scare a moose, scare a moose, will you do my fan Van Gogh?"
The actual lyric: "Scaramouche, scaramouche, will you do the fandango?"

Immortalized by everyone from Wayne & Garth to Mig (from "Rock Star: INXS"), Queen's 1975 six-minute single is a lesson in rock grandiosity and made-up lyrics (or at least they sound like it). When the band is digging up words like "Scaramouche," who can blame someone for writing their own lyrics?

JIMI HENDRIX: "Purple Haze"

What people sing: "Excuse me while I kiss this guy"
The actual lyric: "Excuse me while I kiss the sky"

The granddaddy of famous misunderstood songs, this one has been a joke for over 40 years since its 1967 release. Hendrix said the lyrics were inspired by a dream in which he was walking under the sea. Between the crazy dreams and the crazy stuff running through his veins, Jimi himself probably wasn't sure what he was singing.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: "Blinded by the Light"

What people sing: "Wrapped up like a douche, another loner in the night"
The actual lyric: "Cut loose like a deuce, another runner in the night"

Springsteen's tune from his debut album is full of inside Jersey references and non sequitur silliness. A listener can misinterpret lyrics for days. It's the '76 Manfred Mann's Earth Band cover that's responsible for the signature mondegreen on this one.

BECK: "Loser"

What people sing: "Someone get the door"
The actual lyric: "Soy un perdedor"

Beck only has himself to blame for going bilingual here. No one was ready for that one in 1994. He started a Spanglish craze.

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS: "Plush"

What people sing: "Where you going with the master plan?"
The actual lyric: "Where ya going with that mask I found?"

Frankly, I like the made-up version better. Stone Temple Pilots could use a little help anyway in the lyric-writing department. There's some questionable stuff going in their songs, aside from the stolen Zep sounds.

http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/getback/88498/excuse-me-while-i-kiss-that-guy/

Pretty interesting list. I actually sing the plush lyrics wrong. I thought it was "where you going with the master found." :o That Bohemian Rhapsody one is hilarious though. Oh and I remember people use to sing Reverend Blue Jeans instead of Forever In Blue Jeans to the Neil Diamond song of the same name.
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Comments

  • ClassicRockFanatic23ClassicRockFanatic23 Rising Star
    edited February 2009
    I sing the Bohemian Rhapsody can you do the Fun dance-o. XD
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  • StewieStewie Stewie Star
    edited February 2009
    There was this commercial where a guy was singing stop the cat box instead of rock the casbah.
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  • Ben-JamminBen-Jammin Banned
    edited February 2009
    why post this again? Isn't it in the History of Rock forums?
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  • TurdFergusonnTurdFergusonn Opening Act
    edited February 2009
    That post makes me want to vomit. You've actually heard people sing these things?
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  • SonicRocker15XSonicRocker15X Headliner
    edited February 2009
    I still can't help but think Purple Haze goes "kiss this guy".
    No matter how many times I see the real lyrics.
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  • CCDaDonCCDaDon Headliner
    edited February 2009
    SonicRocker15X;1958318 said:
    I still can't help but think Purple Haze goes "kiss this guy".
    No matter how many times I see the real lyrics.
    in the GH:WT live version Jimi says that guy but in the actual version he clearly says sky.
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  • benson111benson111 Eater of Fine Cupcakes
    edited February 2009
    Ben-Jammin;1958294 said:
    why post this again? Isn't it in the History of Rock forums?
    I present you this...Here
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  • SonicRocker15XSonicRocker15X Headliner
    edited February 2009
    CCDaDon;1958364 said:
    in the GH:WT live version Jimi says that guy but in the actual version he clearly says sky.
    ... One can't help but wonder what would cause Jimi to change his lyrics like that.
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  • CCDaDonCCDaDon Headliner
    edited February 2009
    SonicRocker15X;1958381 said:
    ... One can't help but wonder what would cause Jimi to change his lyrics like that.
    He did it as a joke... People tend to forget how much of a sense of humor Jimi had. One time he changed it to "While I kiss that police officer"
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  • Meatwad555Meatwad555 Merch-Table
    edited February 2009
    CCDaDon;1958393 said:
    He did it as a joke... People tend to forget how much of a sense of humor Jimi had. One time he changed it to "While I kiss that police officer"
    He pretty much just copied what benson posted...
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  • StewieStewie Stewie Star
    edited February 2009
    Meatwad555;1958495 said:
    He pretty much just copied what benson posted...
    No I didn't copy what he posted. I didn't know he posted it first jeez. I got the info from the website just like he did.
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  • Meatwad555Meatwad555 Merch-Table
    edited February 2009
    Stewie;1958497 said:
    No I didn't copy what he posted. I didn't know he posted it first jeez. I got the info from the website just like he did.
    you..... LIAR!!!
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  • StewieStewie Stewie Star
    edited February 2009
    Meatwad555;1958511 said:
    you..... LIAR!!!
    Listen wacko jacko I am not lying.
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